Solaris ld.so.1 buffer overflow Jul 29 2003 08:36PM
Jouko Pynnonen (jouko iki fi) (2 replies)


There is a buffer overflow vulnerability in the Solaris runtime linker,
/lib/ld.so.1. A local user can gain elevated privileges if there are
any dynamically linked, executable SUID/SGID programs in the

On a typical Solaris installation most or all SUID/SGID programs are
dynamically linked. The trend has been to completely move towards
dynamically linked binaries due to Sun's recommendation. Support for
static binaries will be removed in Solaris 10.


The environment variable LD_PRELOAD is used to force ld.so.1 to load
the specified library during runtime linking. If a setuid or setgid
program is being loaded, the value of this variable is checked to
prevent a potential malicious user-defined library to be linked in. In
this case the linker only accepts libraries located under certain
trusted directories. The code doing this evaluation is most likely the
point containing the "unchecked buffer".

The buffer overflow happens if the LD_PRELOAD value starts and ends
with a slash and contains about 1200 characters. An exploit won't be
presented here, but the existance of the vulnerability can be tested
like this:

$ LD_PRELOAD=/`perl -e 'print "A"x2000'` passwd
ld.so.1: passwd: warning /AAAAAAA ... AAAAA/: open failed: illegal
insecure pathname
Segmentation Fault (core dumped)

My test exploit for Solaris 9 / SPARC gets a root shell by setting
the variable and starting /usr/bin/passwd. The exploit builds a fake
stack frame and causes the linker to return to libc in order to defeat
the nonexecutable stack protection. I haven't produced an exploit for
Intel platform, but according to Sun the vulnerability exists on both


Sun Microsystems was contacted on June 1st, 2003 and has released a fix
for the flaw. A complete list of vulnerable Solaris versions and the
fix can be found here:



The vulnerability was discovered by Jouko Pynnönen, Finland.

Jouko Pynnonen http://iki.fi/jouko/
jouko (at) iki (dot) fi [email concealed]

[ reply ]
Re: Solaris ld.so.1 buffer overflow Aug 01 2003 08:58PM
Crist J. Clark (cristjc comcast net)
RE: Solaris ld.so.1 buffer overflow Jul 30 2003 02:28PM
clint walker (cwalker gnx com)


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